Union Pacific (UP) engineering employee and system laborer James Morgan was involved in an accident in Vail, Arizona.
“This is a tragic situation and our hearts go out to James’ family, friends, coworkers and the larger Union Pacific family. At this time, notifications are being made, and we have no further information,” UP said on Monday. The railroad didn’t provide any additional information on Wednesday.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) tweeted on Monday about the incident, saying that the employee was struck by a rail tamper, which is a machine used in track maintenance. While the federal agency is investigating the incident, it is not traveling to the scene, according to the tweet.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), 10 employee-on-duty deaths occurred on U.S. railroads between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2020, the latest date for which data is available. This is one fatality higher than the nine deaths that occurred in all of 2019.
The deaths aren’t necessarily related to a collision or derailment, FRA told FreightWaves. They may have occurred during the course of normal operations, or the death might be unrelated to operations, according to FRA.
For more data on injuries and fatalities, go here.